This is a syndicated post,originally published here
As countless can attest, today’s job market is not what it used to be 10 and certainly not 20 years ago. Gone are the days of sending a resume via the mail or responding to an ad in the paper.
That being said, many of the skills critical to getting a job back in the day still apply provided you’re not afraid to embrace what technology can offer. Can’t figure out how best to spend your job hunting hours?
Here’s a breakdown by the numbers:
Targeting Companies – 30%
I recommend one-third of your total weekly or daily job hunt hours be devoted to carefully researching the names of companies where you might be thrilled to work.
Although the Internet and all its offerings can be overwhelming, those who can recall the hours involved in going to the library to research corporations should be pleased that today this information is readily accessible online.
Local business journals, LinkedIn and various other directories and websites offer listings of companies sorted by just about every category under the sun. Lists of Best Companies to Work For, Most Innovative Companies, Best Companies for Women, etc., are great for identifying the kinds of companies that appeal to you.
Targeting Individuals- 30%
Once you know who you want to work for, or the type of role you’d like to target, it’s time to start connecting with those who can help. This process can be time consuming which is why another one-third of your total job hunting hours should be devoted to the task.
As an example, if you are looking to work in IT, consider connecting with an IT Director or VP of some companies of interest. LinkedIn and local business journals are great for getting names.
LinkedIn in particular is well suited to this endeavor because it offers an easy forum by which to reach out and begin a conversation. LinkedIn’s groups are wonderful for sharing ideas and soliciting assistance.
Getting Your Documents Ready To Go – 30%
It’s critical to put your best foot forward when reaching out to companies and individuals. Hands down the best way to accomplish this is with a well-written resume and LinkedIn profile that allows readers to grasp quickly and thoroughly how you could be a great asset.
You can pay a professional to write these for you or try a DIY approach. Of course, my biased preference is to go with a professional – but that is the stuff of a separate blog post.
Job Boards – 10%
Job boards are great and fulfill a true need. However, they have the potential to be a huge time-suck and numbers vary as to how many postings are false or already filled once posted. Again, the topic of a separate blog conversation.
The bottom line? Job board submissions yield just a 5% return on investment when the resume has optimal keywords. Given that targeting individuals and companies yields a 30% return on investment, it makes sense to devote only a minimal amount of time to reviewing them and using them to apply for roles.
I recommend spending just 10% of your total job hunting time on boards and use them to get a sense for who is hiring and in what capacities. Your best bet for a true shot is to apply within 72 hours if not sooner to a posting.
The New Normal
Today’s job seeker must blend internet savvy with good old fashioned networking and communications skills. Those that do will see results…I’ve seen it happen!